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Emergency Veterinarians in Lake Forest, CA

Pet owners can choose from a long list of emergency vet clinics in their area. Aside from vets that are open during regular office hours, some emergency vets can accommodate clients round the clock or during weekends when most clinics are closed. But how do you decide which emergency vet clinic is right for you? Here are some tips:

  • Seek help from your pet’s veterinarian.

It is best to select the nearest possible clinic. Nowadays, you can add your city to your search key phrase. For example, you can type “emergency clinics for small animals in Lake Forest CA” if you need to find a suitable clinic for your hamster. The search results nowadays often include a booking option plus the complete contact details and clinic hours of a clinic.

  • Research via the web

The Internet has made it easy to find areas of interest through sites such as Google. They can recommend you to a good clinic that provides specialized care for emergency cases. Alternatively, they might be providing emergency medical services as well during their clinic hours.

  • Feel free to ask for your family or friends’ recommendations

Your family and friends who also take care of pets may know a nearby emergency clinic. Ask for their help and opinion. Ask from reliable people you know otherwise; you can look up online feedback and ratings for the best options. Remember, it is prudent to do your research beforehand. Emergencies are unplanned incidents, and in case of one, you can save a lot of precious time since you already have an idea on the best and nearest clinics to take your pet.


South Orange County Animal Hospital

Number: 949-313-6331

Address: 24801 Raton Dr, Lake Forest, CA 92630

Website: socvets.com

Description: South Orange County Animal Hospital is fully equipped to handle emergency situations. From severe allergic reactions due to bee stings, gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, collapse, or even seizures, your pet will be assessed immediately by a veterinarian. Following the initial assessment, you will be given multiple options to best serve you and your pet.

Hours of Operation:

  • Monday – Friday: 7:30AM – 7:00PM
  • Saturday – Sunday: 8:30AM – 2:00PM

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El Toro Animal Hospital

Number: 949-837-5222

Address: 23162 El Toro Frontage Rd, Lake Forest, CA 92630

Website: eltoroanimalhospital.com

Description: We know your pet is an extension of your family. Therefore, we give you and your pet our full undivided attention and we always aim to make your pet’s experience with us a positive one.

Hours of Operation:

  • Monday – Friday: 8:00AM – 6:00PM
  • Saturday: 8:00AM – 2:00PM
  • Sunday: Closed

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My pet needs help, who should I contact?

It takes years to study veterinary medicine. The doctor has to spend four years to complete a bachelor’s degree program and another four years to finish in veterinary school. Usually, all veterinarians undergo extensive university training of 8 years with emergency care as part of it, after which the professionals pursue different career options and some of which are as follows:

  • General practitioners

They are the regular veterinary doctors who provide general care and treat minor health conditions. They can also perform minor surgeries. Most general veterinarians only provide medical services during their clinic hours. Otherwise, they maintain a working relationship with local animal hospitals to which they can refer patients that they are unable to accommodate. Your general practitioner can recommend an emergency clinic in case they are not available to provide the service you need.

  • Emergency Vets

Some vets individually work at emergency clinics. They cater to numerous pet emergencies each day. Most likely, they have handled more than a thousand cases over the years. ER veterinarians are also quite helpful because they have access to the latest medical equipment. They can provide maximum care for your beloved animal.

  • Specialists

Many veterinarians invest time, money and resources to expand their knowledge and experience further. After a veterinarian finishes vet school, he/she has an option to continue their studies. Specialization courses take around four to five years to complete. Some specialists only focus on cardiac health, while others specialize in performing surgeries. Only this type of specialist can carry out the surgery. You can also find some clinics that have in-house neurologists, emergency and critical care specialists, cardiologists, oncologists and other kinds of specialists. There are many veterinarians duly certified by ACVECC in Lake Forest.

What you can expect from an emergency vet

ER vet clinics are often filled with anxious pet owners. Like you, they are worried about the condition of their pet. Primary evaluation will include observation of vital signs such as respiratory rate, heart or pulse rate, and temperature plus other factors such as responsiveness, mobility, gum color, activity, state of the abdominal and chest area, hydration, and more. Emergency vets will conduct further tests to ensure that all underlying issues are identified. Simple symptoms are not the only ones that must be treated, but any underlying conditions that could worsen if left untreated needs to be addressed. Once the results are in, the doctor can prescribe the required medication or procedure. You will also later find out if your pet can go home with you or have to stay for further observation and treatment.

Signs that your pets need immediate medical attention

Our pets are also susceptible to injuries and illnesses, just like their owners. As much as possible, if you see any of the symptoms below, you must contact your pet’s veterinarian right away:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unconscious and unresponsive
  • Severe injury
  • Excessive bleeding or change in skin color indicating internal
  • bleeding
  • Paralysis
  • Limping or swelling indicating a fracture
  • Inability to urinate or defecate
  • Excessive urination or defecation
  • Presence of blood in urine, stool or vomit
  • A bloated and hard abdomen
  • Lack of appetite
  • Severe vomiting
  • Seizures

The symptoms enumerated above are only a few examples. To learn the other signs that you need to look out for, ask your pet’s regular veterinarian. It’s crucial for you to understand the body language and behavior of your pet because that’s their only means of communicating with you. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, feel free to consult with a medical expert as soon as you can. Don’t wait until the next morning before you contact a veterinarian.

How much does a Lake Forest veterinary clinic visit costs?

The cost of veterinary clinic visits in Lake Forest varies a lot. It is difficult to provide a rough cost estimate because each case is different. However, you should prepare at least $800 to $1,500 most especially if your pet suffers from a significant health problem. An emergency consultation including initial examination and basic treatment could cost at least $300. The costs can shoot up in cases where the animal’s condition is deemed critical, requiring hospitalization or major procedures.

In case of a serve emergency that may require immediate hospitalization or major surgery, the price may burgeon to about $4,000 or more for intensive care. It is best to anticipate higher costs and have a financial plan ready as emergency clinics often require payment at the time of treatment. Some insurances may cater for all medical bills and thus making it beneficial. You may ask your veterinarian for any recommendations when it comes to pet insurance coverages or reputable providers who offer efficient pet plans.

Care Credit is a prominent credit line that you can also look into. If you are not a fan of getting loans or insurance plans, saving up for an emergency fund is also another smart option. It doesn’t matter how you wish to generate your emergency funds.